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tv   BBC News  BBC News  February 3, 2024 9:00pm-10:01pm GMT

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live from london, this is bbc news. northern ireland's devolved government is restored, after a two—year hiatus. sinn fein�*s michelle o'neill makes history as stormont�*s first irish nationalist leader. i am a republican. i will serve everyone equally and be a first minister for all. for all of you who are british and unionist, your cultures, your traditions are important to me. us air strikes on sites linked to iranian—backed militias draw condemnation from iraq, syria and iran. former pakistan prime minister imran khan and his wife are jailed for seven years, after a court declares their marriage illegal.
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hello. we start in belfast on a historic day, as a devolved government has been restored in northern ireland, with its first irish nationalist leader. michelle o'neill has been elected first minister of the devolved government. her party, sinn fein, hopes to one day unite northern ireland with the republic of ireland. sinn fein became the biggest party during elections two years ago. it is also two years to the day that the assembly at stormont last met, after the main unionist party — the democratic unionists — walked out of the power—sharing agreement over post—brexit trading rules. our political editor, chris mason, reports from belfast. good morning, stormont! stormont�*s back up and running today, we've been running the past two years. limbering up and under way — park runners here first thing, pounding around the stormont estate. and the politicians are back, too.
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whoo! and it's notjust you guys rattling around here now. no, there's going to be a few others rattling around. so there's going to be quite a number in the house, i believe, today. but they're welcome tojoin the park run. good to see them back? erm... we'll see. to be confirmed, still. so you thought you'd run at stormont today because the politicians are back? yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. hopefully, a wee bit more conversation, going forward. arriving here not long later, today's headline—maker, michelle o'neill, walking towards a place in northern ireland's history as the first nationalist first minister. the assembly is back, and now with a first minister who speaks in english and irish. she speaks irish today opens the door to a future, a shared future. i am honoured to stand here as first minister. michelle o'neill pledged that she would work for everyone in northern ireland.
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with all those colleagues of a british, of a unionist tradition who cherish the union, this is an assembly for all — catholic, protestant, and the centre. on northern ireland's violence, murder, known as the troubles, a notable apology for all deaths. we must never forget all those who have died or been injured or theirfamilies. i am sorry for all the lives lost during the conflict, without exception. history can at once be national, however defined, and deeply personal. and this is an historic day. and it does represent a new dawn. for the very first time, a nationalist takes up the position of first minister. that such a day would ever come was unimaginable to my parents' and grandparents' generation. northern ireland's first and deputy first ministers have equal legal powers, but sinn fein won more seats
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than the second—biggest party, the democratic unionists, at the last elections. so the dup take the deputy position. michelle is an irish republican and i am a very proud unionist. we will never agree on those issues, but what we can agree on is that cancer doesn't discriminate and our hospitals need fixed. there is widespread support here for the return of devolution, but it's not universal. some unionists think the dup should not have come back, because some eu rules still apply in northern ireland. of all those attempts to spin defeat as victory, this is a climb—down of monumental proportions. the business of governing, deciding, scrutinising resumes again here. chris mason, bbc news, in belfast. our ireland correspondent chris page told us more about the process that is taking place.
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for a group of politicians who want northern ireland to stay in the uk to share power with those who want northern ireland to leave the uk and become part of another country, well, that is never going to be an easy relationship. and so it has proved here at stormont, outside belfast, over the years. so, now we have at the head of the new power—sharing coalition michelle o'neill, the first minister, the first nationalist to hold that position, and emma little—pengelly of the democratic unionist party as the deputy first minister. now, those positions are, in fact, legally equal. both those ministers can't operate in isolation from the other, one can't make a decision without the say—so of the other, but nonetheless, in a place where the identity of northern ireland, its place in the uk is disputed, titles and symbolism do matter, and that is why the fact that it is now a sinn fein politician who has the title of first minister certainly
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is significant. and, of course, the fragility of the arrangement has been made very apparent in the last couple of years, hasn't it? it certainly has. the last collapse that has just been repaired, as it were, lasted for two years but, actually, there was another three—year suspension not long before that. so, in all, northern ireland has been without a regional government for five out of the last seven years. so understandably, there will be people here who are sceptical. they say, look, is this really the end of stalemate at stormont or is it the start of stability? but i think the strategy certainly amongst the ministers over the next few days, as they are briefed on the decisions they will have to make, will be to try to put up a united front, focus on those issues that they can come together on, not about whether northern ireland should be in the uk or not, but about improving public services, bringing down hospital waiting times, the longest in the uk by far, giving help to working parents with the cost of childcare.
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it is those policy issues that i think will be the focus, and we can expect a flurry of news releases, news conferences, ministerial visits over the next coming days, as the ministers look to establish themselves in their roles. chris page. russia has called for a united nations security council meeting, after the united states hit more than 85 targets in iraq and syria, which it says had links to iran. it's in retaliation for the killing of three american soldiers injordan by iran—backed militia last weekend. white house national security spokesmanjohn kirby said three facilities were hit in iraq and four were hit in syria. the us said iran's islamic revolutionary guards corp quds force and affiliated militia groups were struck. an iraqi government spokesperson, bassem al—awadi, says the us hit locations in the iraqi towns of akashat and al-qaim. 16 people were killed and 25 injured in the strikes, according to iraqi officials,
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while a british—based war monitor says at least 20 were killed in syria. from the iraqi capital, baghdad, here's hugo bachega. explosions america launching strikes in the middle of the night. strikes that were no surprise. for days, us officials had said they would act and that iranian personnel and interests would be targeted. this video, broadcast on syrian state tv, claims to show the aftermath of one of the attacks. in syria. in iraq, the morning revealed some of the damage. 85 targets were struck in iraq and syria, locations america says have been used by iran's revolutionary guards and the militias it supports. it's a calibrated action with, crucially, no attacks inside iran. this was about degrading capability, taking away capabilities by the militant groups.
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these responses began tonight, they're not going to end tonight. the us is responding to a drone attack on a us base injordan last sunday, which killed three american soldiers. the us said iranian—backed militants were to blame. president biden had been under pressure to give a strong response. in announcing the attacks, he said, "the us does not seek conflict in the middle east," but he warned, "if you harm an american, we will respond." it's too early to say how effective the american strikes will be. and officials say this is just the beginning. iran, iraq and syria have all condemned the attacks. now, the question is how, or if, iran and its proxies will respond. the uk said it supported the us right to defend itself. in brussels, eu foreign ministers called for restraint.
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it's a huge concern, and so, we ask for dialogues and diplomacy. it's the only way that we can calm down the situation. but in gaza, the war that has exacerbated tensions across the region continues. talks for a ceasefire between israel and hamas are under way, the main hope to help avert even more violence. hugo bachega, bbc news, baghdad. our correspondent basheer al—zaidi — who is in baghdad ? explains the response from the iraqi government. so the iraqi government has called for the coalition, the state administration coalition, which is an umbrella for all the iraqi political powers — the sunni, the shia, the kurds — to meet tomorrow, in an urgent meeting, in order to discuss what they called the "emergency development", and they are referring to the us air strikes.
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also, the iraqi parliament is to hold an emergency session, as they described in its statement, in order to discuss these us air strikes, and also renewing the call for the iraqi government to speed, or to fast—track talks with the international coalition to end its presence in the country. but the situation is slightly opaque, isn't it, because there is dialogue, there has been dialogue between dc, quite clearly, and baghdad? not only that, iraq has very limited autonomy over these groups. indeed. well, it has been back and forth in that work frame, if you like. and we are talking about the international coalition here in iraq. and it is always a debate by some iraqi political powers,
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looking at the us forces here. and they call them... they are like occupation forces, they describe them. they said this is against the sovereignty of iraq and they have the upper hand in decision—making, when it comes to use of power on the iraqi territories. i mean, the iraqi government seems keen to get involved in a serious dialogue, or negotiations, with the international coalition. they started that. they called that the dialogue, these sessions held a couple of weeks ago. but we saw today that these air strikes, they kind of added a momentum to these talks. and we saw that coming from the iraqi government in its statement and, also, from other politicians, who are kind of renewing and stressing on that point to be taken seriously and as soon
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as possible by the iraqi government. so it is a matter of waiting, i believe, to see what is going to come up by the iraqi political powers after their meeting tomorrow. our north america correspondent will vernon is following the story from washington. i asked him what the us government makes of the response it received to its attacks. i think these are the responses washington probably would have expected. the retaliation was in response to something that happened one week ago. last sunday was when that drone smashed into the us base injordan, killing three us service members and wounding dozens of others. since then, the us has issued repeated warnings that it
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will respond. it has been talking more or less openly about how it will respond. and even when. saying it will be the next few days and that it will be spread over several days. so there was really no surprise when this happened. and there is even kind of mutterings here that perhaps president biden waited too long, right? there was too much warning, telegraphing, they call it, when you broadcast your plans ahead of carrying them out. so there has been criticism, especially from republicans, that this took too long. republicans often criticise president biden for being too soft on iran. former president donald trump, who we expect to be the republican presidential nominee, he often criticises biden over iran. says this would never have happened on his watch. so, you know, there has been
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criticism, but we'll have to see what further action is taken by the us in the next few days. john kirby and other officials have said that we should expect more of these strikes. meanwhile, antony blinken is on a diplomatic mission to the region for the next few days. what do you think he hopes to achieve? that's right. tomorrow, the us secretary of state is on another middle eastern diplomatic tour. he'll be meeting key regional leaders. and the main kind of thrust of that visit is he will be discussing a potential pause in fighting in gaza, and perhaps the release of dozens of hostages. now, these are very delicate negotiations that have been going on for a while now. and i think with these strikes that were launched last night, that is another reason why the us is so desperate to avoid a direct military confrontation with iran or, in general, a kind of cycle of escalation in the region as a result.
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because these negotiations are delicate, they are tense, they are crucial. and i think they are a greater prize, potentially, for the white house, and not something they will want to be jeopardised. will vernon in washington. here in london, thousands of people joined the latest pro—palestinian protest. it was the first major demonstration in the uk capital since the un's international court ofjustice directed israel to take every measure possible to avoid genocide, while also ensuring humanitarian aid in gaza. a statement from more than 800 serving officials in the us and europe warns that their own governments' policies on the israel—gaza war could amount to "grave violations of international law". the transatlantic statement — which you can see here — says their administrations risk being complicit in "one of the worst human catastrophes of this century", but that their expert advice has been sidelined. the hamas—run health ministry says
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at least 27,238 palestinians have been killed since october the 7th and 66,452 injured by israeli strikes and military actions in the strip. the death toll has increased by 107 in the past day, with 165 injured. now it's time for a look at today's sport with karthi. thank you very much. a fascinating day all round. we start with a remarkable day in the premier league, in which 26 goals were scored in just five matches. eight of them came at stjames' park, as newcastle drew 4—1; with luton town. newcastle led twice, only for luton to be level at 2—2 at half time. the away side then led 4—2, with less than half an hour to play, but goals from kieran trippier and harvey barnes meant the points were shared in a thoroughly entertaining game. i think that is the big positive really from today because we haven't
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done that enough this season. we got one point from losing positions before today. so two goals down, we were chasing the game, i thought we did it really well. probably until the last few minutes when we thought we had enough time to win it, then we had enough time to win it, then we became a bit desperate in our desire to school. i think that is a positive. we looked like we could score goals and we were fluent in that sense of the game. aston villa thrashed the club that sits at the bottom of the table, sheffield united, 5—1, while brighton put four past crystal palace to heap the pressure on roy hodgson. late goals at everton and burnley meant both sides rescued a 2—all draw in their matches against tottenham and fulham, respectively. in spain, girona will be hoping to continue their amazing season in la liga. a win against real sociedad would take them top — at least, for 2h hours. into the second half, its currently 0—0. in germany's bundesliga, bayer leverkusen's remarkable season continues. the league leaders are now unbeaten in 20 matches, after a 2—nil win over darmstadt.
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defending champions bayern munich stay in second place, two points behind leverkusen, after they beat borussia monchengladbach 3—1. the final quarterfinal of the africa cup of nations is under way, with cape verde taking on south africa — it's currently 0—0. they are approaching the one hour mark. hosts ivory coast are into the final four, in dramatic style. they scored a 90th—minute equaliser against mali and then won the match in the stoppage time of extra time. they'll now face the democratic republic of congo in the final four. to the six nations, and a remarkable finish to the opening round of fixtures, as scotland beat wales for the first time in cardiff in 22 years. but not without a scare. scotland led 27—0, before wales fought back to within a point. but they couldn't find the final score to win the match — scotland hanging on to start the tournament with a 27 points to 26 victory.
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a scare, too, for england, as they onlyjust got past italy in rome. the home side led 17—14 at the break, before an alex mitchell try — combined with the boot of george ford — edged england to victory. a stunning spell of bowling from jasprit bumrah has put india in complete control of the second test between india and england. having bowled india out for 396 in the morning, england's response looked composed, with the tourists 114—1. but bumrah changed all of that in spells either side of tea, picking up six wickets for 45 runs. england were all out for 253. india closed on 28 without loss — a lead of 171. bumrah bowled unbelievably well. in fairness to him. it didn't seem...
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it felt like a better wicket than last week. there wasn't as much turn, but you have to hold your hand up and say, well bowled. fantastic in those conditions. we didn't do anything differently from what we did in the last two years. sometimes, you just have to hold your hand up. and the highly—anticipated world heavyweight unification bout between tyson fury and oleksandr usyk has been re—arranged. fury withdrew from the fight, which was scheduled for feburary 17th, on friday, after suffering an injury in training. it's taken less than 2a hours, though, for a new date to be confirmed, as the pair will now meet in the ring on may 18th in riyadh. that's all from the bbc sport centre for now, we will have more for you later. thanks very much. let's get some of the other headlines here in the uk. police have searched five properties in london and newcastle, as they hunt for the man suspected of throwing a corrosive substance at a woman and her children in south london. the metropolitan police are urging abdul shakoor ezedi to turn himself in. they released body—camera vision
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of the hunt for him today. he was last seen boarding an underground train at king's cross station on wednesday. a man in kent has been charged with attempted murder, after he struck a policeman with a car while failing to stop. police say the officer sustained serious injuries and was taken to a local hospital, where he's since been discharged. four other people were also arrested in connection to the incident. rail passengers are facing another day of disrupted train services in the latest 24—hour strike called by the train drivers' union aslef. there are no services on ava nti west coast, east coast midlands, west midlands railway and london northwestern. passengers are advised to check updated timetables before they travel. the former pakistan prime minister imran khan and his wife, bushra bibi, have each been sentenced to seven years in prison, after a court declared their marriage illegal. the court was set up inside the adiala jail where mr khan is already serving sentences
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for other cases. the court also fined them each half a million pakistani rupees — that's about 1,420 british pounds, or 1,800 us dollars. the verdict declared their marriage was un—islamic and illegal. 0ur pakistan correspondent caroline davies is in islamabad with more details. this is the third jail sentence that imran khan has got in the course of a week. and the backdrop to all of this, of course, is that there are general elections that are scheduled to be held this coming thursday. as you mentioned, he's had these previous two cases. the first, he was given a ten—yearjail sentence. the second, 1a. this one, seven. now, we think that these are all running concurrently, at the same time, rather than adding on top of each other, but this is still a very lengthy period of time that imran khan would have to spend in jail. this particular sentence has been given because he's been found guilty, as you say, it's relating to his marriage to his wife, bushra bibi. this is his third wife.
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now, this case was brought by her ex—husband that she was married to for around 30 years. and he says that bushra bibi and imran khan did not wait the designated period of time in—between his divorce from bushra bibi and imran khan's marriage that is mandated by islam. that is why, in the course of this judgment, the judge has also talked about it being un—islamic, as well as being illegal. now, this isn'tjust about adding on an extra jail sentence, to many of imran khan's supporters. what they think is happening here is that there is a repression of imran khan and of his political party, in the build—up to those general elections. what is often referred to as the establishment here in pakistan, that is the military and intelligence services, they think they are trying to repress imran khan. they are trying to put voters off voting for him in the run—up to those general elections. of course, the authorities here deny that and say that these are sort
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of absurd allegations against them. what is particularly interesting about this case is that some people have said that this is also about trying to show, or trying to undermine imran khan's religious credentials. that's since imran khan had a religious reawakening. that has been a crucial part of his political campaigning, and suggesting that his marriage is un—islamic, they suggest, will try, potentially, to undermine his credibility with voters, to whom, that is really important. the big question now is, what will happen? how will this affect the way that voters decide to cast their vote? will they feel that all of those blows that have happened to imran khan and his party, the pti, in the course of the last week and in the course of the last month, will that put them off voting or, alternatively, will it mean that more people will come out in a show of support? that was caroline davies reporting from pakistan. we are getting reports ofjoint us and uk strikes
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against houthi targets in yemen under way, against houthi targets in yemen underway, in against houthi targets in yemen under way, in addition to the self—defence strikes mentioned that we have heard. and the strikes of course in iraq and syria that we have been reporting on today. part of a commitment by the us to exact these strikes, in order to compromise the abilities of these groups within these countries to attack us forces. we week ago, five days ago, forces were killed, three american soldiers were killed in jordan. this is in retaliation for those attacks. this is bbc news. hello. despite the sunshine we've seen across scotland and northern ireland, it was a slightly cooler day than friday, when we had temperatures up to 15. that's what we've seen further south today. and that milder air is nudging its way northwards. blustery still and some more rain to come. this is the weather front
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that's been straddling the uk. that chillier air to the north, with showers, milder to the south. but you may have noticed behind, there's another weather front on the way. so still a continuation of those heavy showers with some hail, some thunder and lightning and gale force winds in the north. a lot of cloud further south as we go through the night. misty and murky over the coast and the hills and bits of drizzle. but the main rain's coming back in later in the night to western scotland and northern ireland. that's really the main player for the next couple of days, particularly for western, central and southern scotland. we could see a good couple of inches of rain, even at lower levels towards the central belt, but over the hills, double that. so, it's likely we'll have some flooding impacts, ithink, with that amount of rain in such a short space of time. but also, its a wetter day for parts of northern england, for northern ireland, cloudier, as well. and further south, i think we'll have a bit more cloud than today, but it's still mild. the winds are picking up a notch, though, overnight, so i think slightly windier again tomorrow. still that risk of gales in the north. now, they may ease a little
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as we head into monday, but only temporarily. and then, by that stage, we've got that rain bumping into the colder air further north and we could have a spell of snow over the hills and then into the northern isles potentially on monday. but to the south, we've still got that westerly breeze, still the high pressure influencing our weather here, so keeping it largely dry. still quite a lot of cloud, though, because we're pulling in all that wind off the atlantic. so, moisture—laden. but the wettest weather by far will still be in the north, hence the risk of some flooding. to the north of that, we've still got that cold air. but for most parts of the uk, once again, the start of the week, very mild. fog around the coasts and over the hills, which is very typical with this sort of wind direction. now, by tuesday, ourweatherfront does start to push a little bit further southwards. and behind it, there's some colder air. but that cold, warm air battle is going to take place across the uk, we think, during the week and, eventually, it looks like it'll get colder towards next weekend, but that's a long way off. and in the meantime, in—between, we're going to see some wetter weather. the warnings, as ever, are on our website. bye— bye.
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this is bbc news, the headlines... northern ireland's devolved government has been restored and has chosen its first ever irish nationalist leader. michelle 0'neill has urged all politicians to put aside their differences and work together. her party, sin fein hopes eventually to unite northern ireland with the republic of ireland.
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airstrikes by the us on sites linked to iran have been condemned by iraq, syria and tehran. iraq said civilians were among at least sixteen people killed in the attacks on friday. the pentagon says the strikes were in retaliation for the killing injordan of three american soldiers by iranian—backed militants. mass demonstrations against the far—right afd party takes place across germany for the third weekend in a row. an estimated one hundred and fifty thousand people have gathered outside parliament in berlin. british scientists and engineers arrive in antarctica, to test a new drone that will help forecast the impact of climate change. it's been designed to withstand harsh weather and could travel to remote parts of the continent. let's return to northern ireland, as michelle 0'neill was at pains to say — in her first speech as first minister — that she would govern for all —
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�*catholic, protestant and dissenter.�* it's been a long journey for ms 0'neill, who comes from a solidly irish republican family — to hold arguably the top position in northern irish politics. she shares her powers with the unionist deputy first minister, but this is symbolically a huge moment for sinn fein and northern ireland. here's sara girvin. a moment of history, a nationalist first minister at stormont, a leader who wants northern ireland to leave the uk and become part of a united ireland. i'm committed to being a first ministerfor all. a not executive. i'm committed to working with all the other parties. and i'm committed on delivering on the bread and butter issues that the people here want us collectively to do for them. michelle 0'neill�*s journey to the topjob in northern ireland. politics began in this rural village club in county tyrone. that's a historic moment to have a nationalist first minister of the north of ireland.
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she is working for all everybody, notjust for one side. born into a family steeped in republicanism and politics, michelle 0'neill�*s father was an ira prisoner turned sinn fein councillor. when he stepped down, his daughter took his seat. she credits herfamily for their support when she became a mother at age 16 and says it shaped the woman she is today. in 2007, she became an assembly member aged 30. as an irish republican, my ultimate objective is to achieve a united ireland. but i was brought up in a house where if you didn't like something, you were told to change it. a decade later, she was named sinn fein's vice president. it was a defining moment for the party. a changing of the guard. for me to be selected to lead our party in the north is truly the biggest honour and privilege of my life. throughout her meteoric rise, there have been moments of controversy and of reconciliation. in 2017, she was criticised when she addressed an anniversary rally for eight ira men killed by the sas.
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i am an irish republican and make no mistake about it, i will always remember and commemorate our patriots at every time and stand alongside you. in 2020, when she was deputy first minister, there were calls for her to resign following her attendance at a republican funeral. at the time, covid restrictions were in place. traditionally, sinn fein has objected to the monarchy, particularly in relation to its rule in northern ireland, but after the death of queen elizabeth ii, she met king charles. she went on to attend his coronation, saying it was important to show respect for others. the last election saw sinn fein become the largest party in the northern ireland assembly for the first time, handing michelle 0'neill the first minister post. but because of the collapse of power sharing, she's been waiting
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for nearly two years to take it. so what kind of first minister will she be? she has really gone, i think, in many people's eyes, beyond to show a sense of solidarity and empathy, also to say, look, i want to be someone who others can say is representing them at the same time. obviously, for unionists who want northern ireland to remain inside the union, some will be getting a little bit worried, i imagine, just because that position is changing and they no longer have the political strength that they once had. michelle o'neill says that she will be a first minister for all. but obviously we have to judge, judge her and what she does as to whether that is actually true. today, there is no more waiting. it's a new era for michelle o'neill and a new era for northern ireland. after such a long break, and with — for the first time ever — a nationalist first minister, has created hope for a more normal politics.
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but there is still an immense legacy of past division to overcome. 0ur former northern ireland correspondent fergal keane has returned to belfast a0 years after he first reported from there during the troubles. he reflects now on what is changing and what is not. explosion from this... never, never, never! ..to this... i feel the hand of history upon our shoulder. and this... there's only one problem party, and let's call it out — it's sinn fein. out of the past and into the future. ever since the good friday agreement was signed 26 years ago, the fortunes of the peace have ebbed and flowed. # all we are saying... yet now there is hope for a different kind of politics. # ..is give peace a chance...# richard o'rawe is an ex—ira prisoner with some words of advice forformer comrades and enemies now sitting in stormont. be nice, be conciliatory to those on the other bench, work together and make life better for the poor people in the back streets.
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memories are still fresh of what happens when politics fails here. all the killings, all the time done in jail, all the suffering, all the tears, was for nothing. the whole thing, in my view, was an awful waste. belfast is a city transformed from the place i reported from in the troubles. it's a city integrated into the global economy, with younger people looking beyond old issues of identity. yet peace walls still separate catholic from protestant in so—called interface areas. and for two years now, those who might have looked
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to leaders for example were instead given stalemate. the fundamental question is whether sectarianism in daily life and politics can be overcome. because if not, there will always be some issue that comes along to frustrate political progress. so this government isn't a solution in itself, but it might be the beginning of one. they sit there going nowhere, then are gone where you're not looking... politics matter so much because so many have died for it. ..another crash, a bomb scare, one suspended sentence... gail mcconnell, a prize—winning poet, was three when the ira killed her prison officer father william in 1984. trauma is an ongoing reality for so many people in northern ireland. we have a young generation who were born after the conflict but who tell us they feel keenly the effects of that conflict, they feel the aftermath of trauma. i really do want to be hopeful in this moment.
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i do think it's good. i'm just conscious there is still a long way to go. "historic" is sometimes an overused word here, but history is being made — not just today, but every day of peace. fergal keane, bbc news, belfast. more now on the strikes in the middle east — reports of allied strikes against houthi targets in yemen. let's take a step back and look at the tense situation in the region, particularly iran. although iran has denied any direct involvement in that drone attack, we know there are a number of pro—iranian militias based in iraq, syria, lebanon, the palestinian territories and as far south as yemen. all are opposed to israel and the united states. the bbc�*s analysis editor, ros atkins, takes a closer look now at what we know about iran's alliances, and the so—called �*axis of resistance�*.
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as the crisis in the middle east escalates, there is one country the us references all the time. we escalates, there is one country the us references all the time.- us references all the time. we do not want this _ us references all the time. we do not want this war _ us references all the time. we do not want this war but _ us references all the time. we do not want this war but if _ us references all the time. we do not want this war but if iran - us references all the time. we do not want this war but if iran or - us references all the time. we do not want this war but if iran or its | not want this war but if iran or its proxies attack us personnel anywhere, make no mistake, we will defend our people. we will defend our security, swiftly and decisively.— our security, swiftly and decisively. our security, swiftly and decisivel . . , ~ ,, decisively. last weekend, three us soldiers were _ decisively. last weekend, three us soldiers were killed _ decisively. last weekend, three us soldiers were killed in _ decisively. last weekend, three us soldiers were killed in a _ decisively. last weekend, three us soldiers were killed in a drone - soldiers were killed in a drone attack injordan, the target was a us military base. the group —— claiming response is the islamic resistance in iraq by the us is clear on where blame really lies. our team continue to do the analysis but we know that iran is behind it and certainly, as we have said before her in his briefing room, iran continues to arm and equip these groups to launch these attacks. . .., ,
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these groups to launch these attacks. . . . , , these groups to launch these attacks. . , , , these groups to launch these attacks. . , , . ., , ., attacks. iran calls these claims are baseless accusations _ attacks. iran calls these claims are baseless accusations but _ attacks. iran calls these claims are baseless accusations but it - attacks. iran calls these claims are baseless accusations but it has - attacks. iran calls these claims are baseless accusations but it has a i baseless accusations but it has a network of allies across the region, it has a name for it, the axis of resistance, united it says in its opposition to israel and the us. this access includes the group behind each tower 22 attack. iran has taken behind each tower 22 attack. ii"5.“'i has taken advantage of the behind each tower 22 attack. ii"5.“'u has taken advantage of the current moment of conflict to do what iran has been doing for many years, which is to disrupt, to target the us and partners in a variety of ways, mostly through the efforts of its proxy militias. find mostly through the efforts of its proxy militias.— mostly through the efforts of its rox militias. �* , . ., proxy militias. and since the hamas attack on october _ proxy militias. and since the hamas attack on october the _ proxy militias. and since the hamas attack on october the 7th _ proxy militias. and since the hamas attack on october the 7th and - proxy militias. and since the hamas attack on october the 7th and the i attack on october the 7th and the israeli response to it, this disruption has taken many forms, for example, houthi rebels in yemen have attacked ships in the red sea, the us says there has been 150 attacks on its military positions on iraq and syria, but how does this network of allies were? how close is their relationship with iran and what is
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iran trying to achieve? we go back to 1979, there was an uprising against the monarchy in iran and it became a republic. ever since, against the monarchy in iran and it became a republic. eversince, it has sought to spread its influence in the region. that has involved support for the assad regime in syria, support for his brother —— hezbollah. we syria, support for his brother -- hezbollah-— syria, support for his brother -- hezbollah. ~ . ., ., ., ., hezbollah. we have a whole range of iraai shia hezbollah. we have a whole range of iraqi shia militias _ hezbollah. we have a whole range of iraqi shia militias which _ hezbollah. we have a whole range of iraqi shia militias which are - hezbollah. we have a whole range of iraqi shia militias which are formed l iraqi shia militias which are formed in different ways and have different connections with iran and they are in an umbrella movement which has none shia militias included as well so it is very complicated to navigate the types of links within that part of the axis of resistance. an iran support counsellor is network comes in several forms, first money, the us intimated iran gave hezbollah $700 million a year, as well as $100 million a year to
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palestinian groups, including hamas, and estimates the houthis have received 100 —— hundreds of minis of dollars as well. iran does not acknowledge this funding, but as well as money, iran are supplying weapons, too, recently to military personnel died intercept and about in the red sea. the us released this image and said the boat was transporting iranian made weapons to the houthis. or to hezbollah, it is believed many of the rockets come from iran. and if iran is supplying money and weapons, is also coordinating the actions of its allies? after october the 7th, the us acknowledged but we have not yet seen evidence that iran directed i was behind this particular allies appear to operate with a significant degree of independence but that needs placing in context. iran does not necessarily _
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needs placing in context. iran does not necessarily exert _ needs placing in context. iran does not necessarily exert day-to-day i not necessarily exert day—to—day operational control over each and every one of its proxies but that being said, when you provide strategic direction, when you provide significant material, when you provide significant training, you provide significant training, you cannot expect, you cannot avoid culpability. find you cannot expect, you cannot avoid culabili . �* , ., culpability. and given this level of su- ort culpability. and given this level of support from _ culpability. and given this level of support from iran, _ culpability. and given this level of support from iran, inevitably - culpability. and given this level of| support from iran, inevitably many are asking what does it want? well, to understand this, we again need to look at the history of iran, not least the iran iraq war of the 1980s which began when iraq invaded. iran doesnt which began when iraq invaded. ii"5.“'i doesn't necessarily see itself as an doesn�*t necessarily see itself as an aggressive actor. it sees itself as deeply vulnerable. in particular, memories of the iran iraq war, when it was very vulnerable to iraqi missiles and many people died are absolutely key in iran�*s political
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perception. it�*s policy is built on never again being encircled or isolated. �* ., ., isolated. and to meet that goal, the axis of resistance _ isolated. and to meet that goal, the axis of resistance is _ isolated. and to meet that goal, the axis of resistance is crucial. - isolated. and to meet that goal, the axis of resistance is crucial. it - isolated. and to meet that goal, the axis of resistance is crucial. it is - axis of resistance is crucial. it is not looking _ axis of resistance is crucial. it is not looking for _ axis of resistance is crucial. it is not looking for a _ axis of resistance is crucial. it is not looking for a massive escalation and a _ not looking for a massive escalation and a wall_ not looking for a massive escalation and a wall at right with the us or israei. _ and a wall at right with the us or israel, what it is interested in, however. _ israel, what it is interested in, however. is _ israel, what it is interested in, however, is maintaining the kind of equilibrium — however, is maintaining the kind of equilibrium and violence groups that it has_ equilibrium and violence groups that it has a _ equilibrium and violence groups that it has a gust the region. in a statement — it has a gust the region. in a statement this _ it has a gust the region. in a statement this week, - it has a gust the region. in —. statement this week, the iranian revolution engarde say, we do not seek war but we are not afraid of war. the motivations and ambitions of iran are a fiercely contested subject but as the us elevates its response to the client tower 22 attack, there is no doubt that this is important. we were just like to update you as we are getting reports on the subject of these us attacks in the middle east. we know that we had
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seven sides attacks in iraq and also in syria. hot on the heels of that, we are getting reports that the united states and britain have struck at least 30 houthi target this time in yemen on saturday. now, whereas the attacks before in syria and iraq were launched from the united states, these attacks, which of course are meant to further disable the iran backed groups which have been consistently attacking american and international interest in the middle east, some 160 attacks there, and so these are retaliation for that, the latest strikes against these houthis in yemen were launched by ships and fighterjets. now, as we know, houthis have been attacking ships in the red sea which has been adding to problems of international trade, and this is in response to those. the strikes following their
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assault on iraq and syria on friday. they targeted other iranian backed militias. and this is the point that the suggestion here is that these groups, although they may not have ceded autonomy fully to iran are certainly backed by iran, so we will keep you up—to—date on those attacks in yemen. mass demonstrations against the far—right afd party have taken place in towns and cities across germany for the third weekend in a row. in the biggest protest in berlin, an estimated 150,000 people rallied outside the german parliament building — the reichstag. that�*s 50,000 more than organisers had expected. the rallies were in response to revelations afd leading figures participated in a meeting with extremists, where plans were discussed to deport people with non—german backgrounds. our correspondent damien mcguinness is in berlin. this is the third weekend in a row
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mass demonstrations have been held in towns and cities right across germany. they�*re being held by all sorts of groups, from environmentalists, trade unions, political parties, even a group called grannies against the far right. what they all have in common is they are protesting against right—wing extremism after reports of a secret meeting in november attended by the far—right party, the afd, at which a plan was discussed to deport anyone with non—german heritage outside of germany. it would affect millions of people, a very radical plan which is not going to happen but it shocked the whole nation. sparked these mass demonstrations. as a result, over the last few weeks, the afd seems to have slipped in the polls to just over 20%. it could be because of these protests putting off some people or it could be because of other far—right parties and anti—migrant groups are being set up, undermining support for the afd. either way, afd leads have come out fighting. they say they have been victimised
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by mainstream german politics and media and they hope that actually these politics will boost their support by playing into this narrative they often use that they are being victimised by the rest of german society. let�*s get some of the day�*s other news now. on sunday, the latin american nation of el salvador heads to the polls for general elections. president nayib bukele is expected to win a second term in office, after changing the constitution that prevented presidents to run for two consecutive terms. yet despite his popularity, the country is stagnating economically. pierre—antoine denis has more from the newsroom.
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he�*s popular on social media. he�*s not afraid to call himself the coolest dictator in the world on his bio. over 75,000 arrests have been made in el salvador since the beginning of the state of emergency in march 2022. bukele ordered the building of mega prisons, prompting human rights organisations to express concerns over the treatment of detainees. but the violence did stop. the un recorded a 70% fall in homicide rates in el salvador in 2023. this essentially means that el salvador has the second lowest homicide rates in the americas behind canada. but this rather authoritarian leadership from bukele does not bother salvadorans that much anymore. now they do expect him to perform on the economy. but bukele says he has a plan and that plan is called bitcoin. in fact, in 2021, el salvador became the first country in the world to adopt the cryptocurrency as a legal tender. bukele invested hundreds of millions of salvadoran money in the crypto
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market, as well as building mega factory to generate more and more bitcoin. but the bitcoin momentum seems to die down a little bit when it comes to salvadorans, because a recent survey shows that 88% of salvadorans did not do a single bitcoin transaction in 2023, so bukele will probably be reelected on sunday thanks to his promises on violence. but now salvadorans are waiting on him to deliver on the economy. a team of scientists and engineers has landed in antarctica, to test a new drone that will help experts forecast the impact of climate change. the device will enable researchers to access parts of the continent that were previously out of bounds because of the harsh weather conditions. our climate reporter, georgina rannard has more.
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scientists are fighting to understand how climate change is altering antarctica. decades ago, they travelled by foot and paw, before taking to the air. but now, they need technology that works whatever the weather. this could be the answer — a new drone, tested not in antarctica but in eryri — also called snowdonia. we have a 700 litres payload bay. is that in here? yeah, i can show you. can we open it? wow! it�*s kind of like opening a car boot? yeah, pretty much. most of the sensors are actually going to fitted in here. it increases safety because you don�*t have a pilot on board, which means that you can bring this aircraft to more remote locations. it�*s been designed to basically withstand harsh environments and challenging conditions. researchers have used drones before. but this autonomous drone can fly 1,000 kilometres and uses a fraction
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of the fuel a traditional plane uses, so it�*s also better for the planet. also going to antarctica is scientist tom jordan. he is of the continent before, but now he needs more data. he�*ll use radar on the drone to draw a picture of what�*s under the ice sheets to help predict how fast they could not. so, the spiky bits in the middle, this is actually a mountain range about the size of the european alps. and, looking around, you can see other areas which look suspiciously smooth. actually, they're not smooth at all — these are gaps in our knowledge, sojust gaps in the map. it'sjust that no—one has ever been there to make these measurements. this drone won�*t stop the ice melting. but the knowledge it gives us will help us prepare for our planet�*s future. georgina rannard, bbc news, eryri, north wales.
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it�*s one of the most talked about films, �*poor things�* is a visually spectacular larger than life satire about a young woman�*s self discovery. here�*s katie razzall. this is bella. ba—ba! a sexually charged coming of age fairytale that riffs on frankenstein. poor things sees emma stone as bella baxter, a woman brought back from the dead using the brain of a baby. sounds fantastical? it is. i am bella baxter. when i heard about poor things, ijust fell in love. you said, what would a woman be if she were able to start from scratch? was that what was it that appealed to you? that she�*s evolving so rapidly and she�*s taking in all these experiences and it�*s completely on her own terms. for many poor things is a feminist masterpiece, a satire on men with emma�*s character setting off on a journey of self—discovery and sexual liberation. why do people not do this all the time? but it�*s offended others. a lot of the talk around this film does seem to be about it being pornographic titillation. does that bother you?
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imean, no. i think there's like a very honest depiction of the male aspect of it and how they are trying to control her and how they trying to control the control the world around her. these two are fighting. emma, who also produced the movie, has a good chance of another best actress oscar after her la la land win. and yorgos is up for best director in what is, again, a mainly male category. i believe four out of the ten best picture nominees were produced by women and/or directed by women. and obviously the most successful film of this year, barbie, was written, directed and produced by women. and she doesn�*t make it into the best directing list. i know. and that�*s insane. hollywood�*s male dominated film industry is changing, but not fast enough for many women in the movie business. katie razzall, bbc news.
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stay with us on bbc news. despite the sunshine we�*ve seen across scotland and northern ireland, it was a slightly cooler day than friday, when we had temperatures up to 15. that�*s what we�*ve seen further south today. and that milder air is nudging its way northwards. blustery still and some more rain to come. this is the weather front that�*s been straddling the uk. that chillier air to the north, with showers, milder to the south. but you may have noticed behind, there�*s another weather front on the way. so still a continuation of those heavy showers with some hail, some thunder and lightning and gale force winds in the north. a lot of cloud further south as we go through the night. misty and murky over the coast and the hills and bits of drizzle. but the main rain�*s coming back in later in the night to western scotland and northern ireland. that�*s really the main player for the next couple of days, particularly for western, central and southern scotland. we could see a good couple of inches
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of rain, even at lower levels towards the central belt, but over the hills, double that. so, it�*s likely we�*ll have some flooding impacts, ithink, with that amount of rain in such a short space of time. but also, it�*s a wetter day for parts of northern england, for northern ireland, cloudier, as well. and further south, i think we�*ll have a bit more cloud than today, but it�*s still mild. the winds are picking up a notch, though, overnight, so i think slightly windier again tomorrow. still that risk of gales in the north. now, they may ease a little as we head into monday, but only temporarily. and then, by that stage, we�*ve got that rain bumping into the colder air further north and we could have a spell of snow over the hills and then into the northern isles potentially on monday. but to the south, we�*ve still got that westerly breeze, still the high pressure influencing our weather here, so keeping it largely dry. still quite a lot of cloud, though, because we�*re pulling in all that wind off the atlantic. so, moisture—laden. but the wettest weather by far will still be in the north, hence the risk of some flooding. to the north of that, we�*ve still got that cold air. but for most parts of the uk, once again, the start
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of the week, very mild. fog around the coasts and over the hills, which is very typical with this sort of wind direction. now, by tuesday, ourweatherfront does start to push a little bit further southwards. and behind it, there�*s some colder air. but that cold, warm air battle is going to take place across the uk, we think, during the week and, eventually, it looks like it�*ll get colder towards next weekend, but that�*s a long way off. and in the meantime, in—between, we�*re going to see some wetter weather. the warnings, as ever, are on our website. bye— bye.
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live from london, this is bbc news. iraq, syria and iran condemn us air strikes on sites linked to iranian—backed militias. the us says the strikes were in retaliation for the killing of three american soldiers. us officials say us—uk joint strikes against houthi targets in yemen are under way. these are additional to the "self—defence" strikes against six houthi missiles. northern ireland�*s devolved government is restored, after a two—year hiatus. sinn fein�*s michelle o�*neill makes history as stormont�*s first irish nationalist leader. i am a republican. i will serve everyone equally and be a first minister for all. to all of you who are british and unionist, your national identity, your cultures, your traditions are important to me.

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